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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

tomatometer

65

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 271
Fresh: 175 | Rotten: 96

Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth is an earnest, visually resplendent trip, but the film's deliberate pace robs the material of some of its majesty.

46

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 46
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 25

Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth is an earnest, visually resplendent trip, but the film's deliberate pace robs the material of some of its majesty.

audience

83

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 456,784

My Rating

Movie Info

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo

Mar 19, 2013

$303.0M

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All Critics (271) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (175) | Rotten (96) | DVD (4)

It frequently seems as though Jackson was less interested in making The Hobbit than in remaking his own fabulously successful Lord of the Rings series.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: The Atlantic
The Atlantic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

My first thought in watching The Hobbit was: Do we really need this movie? It was my last thought, too.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To its own narrative detriment, "The Hobbit" works hard to lay the framework for what will follow. Certainly that's one way to set out on a trilogy, but it's surely not the best.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's no denying the majesty in Peter Jackson's visuals but he's taken a relatively slim children's book and stretched it beyond the limits.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The repeated iterations of fight, flight and respite here get wearing. Especially perhaps because, with Jackson's fetish for detail, they take more time to watch on screen than to read about.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has finally arrived, not on wings of gossamer fancy but with a hairy-footed thud.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Remember the joke that The Fellowship of the Ring was just a bunch of people walking around for three hours? In this case, it's actually true.

January 22, 2014 Full Review Source: The Verge
The Verge

An occasionally entertaining but empty fantasy epic...

December 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

It rambles over hill and dale and mountain and field and forest and marsh and through cavern and catacomb and grotto and pothole...but will please the Tolkien faithful.

November 18, 2013 Full Review Source: MLive.com
MLive.com

While the new scenes don't add much to the great film, the outstanding wealth of special features makes this one of the must-own Blu-rays of 2013.

November 4, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

It's like we returned to Disneyland to find it looking as magical as ever, but with most of the rides closed.

July 28, 2013 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

There are worse ways to kill time, sure; it's just that there is, alas, so much time to kill.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

"Unexpected Journey" runs nearly three hours. That gives Jackson plenty of time to revive its magic [which he does] by triggering our good will toward the "Rings" trilogy. He evokes the trilogy's tone and its rhythms.

May 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

As great as Serkis is, he can't begin to make 'The Hobbit' look anything but short.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

The odd thing about the saying "too much of a good thing" is that it acknowledges the fact that, something, in general, is composed of an overabundance of excellence.

April 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Racket
Film Racket

The Hobbit may not be as memorable as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it's a mostly faithful adaptation that sticks to the same tones and themes of the source material.

March 23, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

It's a journey that any fan of Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" Trilogy should enjoy.

March 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth feels familiar and unfulfilling.

March 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

If Jackson had focused simply on Bilbo's party and their attempts to get a proper homeland for the dwarves, 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' would have been a leaner, more engaging tale.

February 2, 2013 Full Review Source: KC Active
KC Active

Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien may like sitting through a 169 minute film, that easily could have been trimmed by at least 50 minutes. But, I was constantly aware of the long running time.

February 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Chambers
Movie Chambers

As it stands, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a thoroughly engaging, often rip-roaring, old school yarn. It's got scope, excitement, and above all, emotional heft.

January 31, 2013 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Whenever this movie suffers from lengthy prequel-itis and a weighty sense of expectations, it falls short. Still, for much of its 165 minutes, this epic has enough small moments and deft touches that it tugs you along with the power of a good story.

January 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

An Unexpected Journey offers an unparalleled visual spectacle

January 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

a drag-down, mildly diverting entertainment

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

When the dwarves turn up mob-handed, kicking off a night of boisterous revelry, the laboured jests and jollity seem to go on forever. And the combination of dwarves, forced humour and familiar faces off the telly turn the occasion into bad panto.

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had me with the dulcet melancholy of displaced Dwarves, yearning to be home.

January 8, 2013 Full Review Source: 2UE That Movie Show
2UE That Movie Show

Audience Reviews for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

A thrilling adventure. I liked all the songs and cute (but grubby) Dwarves. Peter Jackson took a little kids' storybook and Rankin-Bass cartoon and made it into an epic. It took itself less seriously than Lord of the Rings - the fate of the world seemed not at stake here. It was like a great D&D adventure. There was a load of backstory and subplots added to the story, which really makes it better overall.
January 4, 2014
YosemiteSamFan

Super Reviewer

There is so much to love about "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," and sometimes that particular fact overshadows what are a few minor problems with the film. It is a simple story, told in a very grand scale, about Dwarfs, accompanied by a Hobbit, who are on a quest to reclaim the Dwarfs homeland. Along the way, he comes across as mysterious ring, and the climax unfolds. This film has a very dark tone to it, with very excessive images, but the things that truly bugs me is the fact that it shifts back and forth from dark to comical too quickly, taking away some of the mood. Still, I highly enjoyed watching this film and the cliffhanger is incredible. I cannot wait for part 2 of this trilogy. It is no match for "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, but on it's own, it really has something going for it. It was also nice to seem some pretty awesome cameos from familiar faces. Overall, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is 100% worth it!
December 12, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Okay, first the bad news: The Hobbit runs about thirty minutes too long: the first hour takes so much time setting the story up that it begins to feel tedious by the 45 minute mark. Because of this, I can't put it in the same league as Peter Jackson's monumental Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which was not only a flawless adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved fantasy novels, but also one of the best film trilogies of all time.
Now with that aside, once the set up is done, The Hobbit frequently exhibits the same magic and wonder of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Despite being so CGI heavy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a gorgeous looking movie. Every frame, cut, and shot is amazing. Chief among making this possible is the high speed projector rate of 48fps. The detail in the shots, the clarity of the movements, and the 3D technology is the most amazing visual experience you will have at the cinema this or any year. The High Frame Rate may be jarring at first because the characters move so smoothly, but once your eyes adjust, it's a truly unique experience.
The action scenes are breathtaking. Martin Freeman's performance as Bilbo melds clever humour with emotional depth. The company of dwarfs are all remarkably lovable characters, and the returning characters like Elrond, Frodo, and Galadriel are welcome additions to enhance nostalgia. Gollum's return in particular is as creepy and suspenseful as any of his scenes in LOTR. This is great action filmmaking, and while Peter Jackson shows his tendency to self indulge a little too much, he hasn't quite lost his touch.
December 12, 2013
MovieGeek13

Super Reviewer

****1/2
When I saw "Hobbit" in the theater is was a family movie night in Paris. I hadn't got much sleep, and was just tired as hell, and not in an ideal mood to watch a 3 hour movie. I think because of this it really soured my opinion of the movie, because I remember not caring a whole lot for it. Felt it was too long, and nowhere near the quality of the previous "Lord of the Rings" movies. So, I have the Extended Editions of the first trilogy on blu-ray(thanks to my amazing wifey!), and just had to make sure I got the extended cuts of this new trilogy(I'm OCD on my movie collection). So I picked up the 3D Blu Ray and figured I'd rewatch before the new one comes out. No matter what I thought of this first one, I knew I was going to watch the rest because I LOVED the original trilogy so much. Well, I'm glad I did, because I was very wrong on my initial feelings. This is a fantastic movie. Is it too long? Yup. As good as the first three? Nope. But it's still an amazing(and Unexpected) Journey of a movie. The effects, especially in 3D, are unbelievable. The action is great, and the music has been stuck in my head all week(luckily the soundtrack is on Spotify). There are still some things I don't like, like the sparrows not just flying them all to the castle at the end. Plus, just like "Fellowship of the Ring", I hate not having an ending, but I expected it this time around. This first installment of Bilbo Baggins journey to helps the dwarves reclaim their home is fantastic and now I cannot wait to see the second one! I'll just make sure it's on a day where I'm wide awake and ready.

Here's my original review, where I wasn't as harsh as I remembered being. Because for the longest time I told people I didn't think it was very good, but my review says otherwise...weird.


Two quick things, I watched this movie while I was pretty tired and had trouble getting into it(but I would have during any movie). Also, I watched this in Paris, IL, which is a cheap theater and doesn't offer the same quality as, say an AMC theater. Having said that, I thought this was a terrific movie, and one that I can't wait to watch in 3D when I'm in a much better movie viewing state of mind. This is a prequel to the amazing "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and it holds up good next to those three masterpieces. I don't think this is good as those three, but it doesn't diminish the legacy in any way, and actually sets up a trilogy that will be pretty awesome when it's all said and done. This is the story of Bilbo Baggins(Martin Freeman) embarking on an adventure with Gandolf(Ian McKellen) and a group of Dwarves to help them reclaim their land from a dragon named Smaug. Freeman is amazing as Bilbo, and probably my favorite Hobbit of all these middle earth movies. He's funny, and a guy you find yourself genuinely rooting for. Peter Jackson returns as the director and I think that is very much a good thing. This matches right up with the first three, even though it is a much lighter movie in tone. This is more kid friendly that the original trilogy, and that's good, as it will introduce a whole new crowd to these movies. Very good movie, that is a must watch this holiday season.
November 13, 2013
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

    1. Gandalf: True courage is knowing not how to take a life, but when to spare it.
    – Submitted by Frances H (3 months ago)
    1. Bilbo Baggins: I'm going on an adventure!
    – Submitted by Danny O (3 months ago)
    1. Gandalf: I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay.
    – Submitted by Maryam Z (3 months ago)
    1. Gandalf: These are gundabad wargs. They will outrun you!
    – Submitted by vijeyta R (10 months ago)
    1. Kili: At your service!
    2. Fili: At your service!
    – Submitted by vijeyta R (10 months ago)
    1. Saruman: You've been busy my friend.
    – Submitted by vijeyta R (10 months ago)
View all quotes (101)

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Hobbit: Eine unerwartete Reise (DE)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (UK)
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